Nurses Offer to Buy President Shoes to March With Workers in Wisconsin

Mar 02, 2011, 14:30 ET from National Nurses United

MADISON, Wis., March 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Recalling a pledge by then-candidate Barack Obama that "If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself" and join them, National Nurses United today offered to buy the president those shoes.

While President Obama this week criticized the attack on workers, NNU Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro said he has been "largely a bystander" in supporting working families who are under assault in Wisconsin and other states.

He has "yet to address the heart of the problem with a clear statement of who is responsible for this crisis, the corporate class and the right," DeMoro said.

"Standing with the embattled workers would be an important symbol. But we need far more starting with a clear message that working people did not cause the recession or unbalanced budgets. Public pensions did not spark a meltdown on Wall Street. It wasn't workers exploiting tax loopholes or offshoring their bank accounts that depleted public treasuries."

DeMoro cited data compiled by NNU's research arm, the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy that shows:

  • Individuals now account for nearly five times the federal tax receipts as do corporations.
  • Taxes on individuals produce about four times the revenues for states that corporations do. In Wisconsin, the ratio is about five to one – even before Gov. Walker gave corporations $117 million in tax cuts in January.
  • Corporate taxes as a percent of the GDP are at historical lows.
  • Corporate profits per employee are the highest on record. At $1.6 trillion, third quarter corporate profits were the highest ever recorded.
  • The top 1% of the population had 17.1% of total wealth after tax income in 2009, the highest figure for at least 30 years.
  • A one-time 14% surcharge on the super-rich would more than pay for the $1.6 trillion budget deficit projection for 2011.
  • Workers' wages have been stagnant or falling for at least 30 years.

The president should show leadership, DeMoro said, "by standing and walking with the workers, and working to repair the budget deficit with a just rebalancing of the responsibility of the corporate elite and the rich."

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SOURCE National Nurses United